New Year Goals

New Year, New Goals

As we approach a brand new year, many of us are taking some time to figure out how we can improve our lives in a healthy and productive way. After all, a new year is a great jumping off point for new focus, new aspirations, and new energy.

I’m so pleased to introduce a guest writer for this post; Cassie Brewer:

Build a Stronger and Healthier You this New Year

Our plans to completely transform our bodies, our habits or our lives are often too ambitious at the start of the new year, leading most of us to fail by giving up on our resolutions soon after we get started.

Rather than overhauling your whole entire life by simply listing goals, you can try to adopt lifelong habits this new year, so that you can become a stronger and healthier version of yourself, without having to resort to extremes like crash diets or end up suffering from severe exhaustion.

There are several things you can do to turn your life around and be the best version of yourself this new year and for the years to come, but the following are the top five habits to adopt:

Eat When You’re Hungry

If you’re ending the year emotionally exhausted from yo-yo dieting, then think of turning a new page this new year by foregoing dieting, and instead, choose to listen to your body. Rather than figuring out the best diet for you, try to understand why you are hungry. Do you really need to eat something or is there an emotional issue that you want to forget with food?

Don’t make 2017 another year where you use food as a crutch.

new year meditation

Adopt a Meditative Ritual

Unless you live on a farm with no Wi-Fi, then chances are your life is bound to get busier. Adopting a meditative ritual such as meditation first thing in the morning or yoga a few times a week will help you to find stillness despite your busy life. Download an app to guide you through meditation or chant the mantra you feel most connected to.

When it comes to yoga, you can join a class or even do the poses at home — no matter how hectic life gets, you can always sneak a few minutes of yoga to de-clutter your mind.

Find a Skincare Regime (that works for YOU)

Skincare is not something that you start worrying about later in life when much of the damage has been done. It is essential to find a quick but effective skincare regime with high quality products that are right for your skin. While the regime will vary, depending on your skin type, there are certain products our face will always need, such as sunscreen (even on winter days!) serum, eye cream and a good moisturizer.

Tap Into Your Creativity

We all have our versions of what creativity is, but most of us tend to lose this trait because of an overwhelming work/life schedule. Creativity is essential to drive us to be better at work and in life, so it’s important to go in search of inspiration throughout the year. Read books that challenge you creatively, learn something new, or go back to doing something you used to do when you were very young and let your mind find its way back to being spontaneous and perceptive.

Go Offline

Finally, learn to switch off and take real breaks. It has become the norm to be constantly on and having something to do, but doing nothing has its many benefits, too. Go for long walks in nature, have tech-free weekends and start your morning without checking your phone. Only by quieting the noise of the online world can we understand what is going on inside our mind, so we can understand what we are doing, how we are feeling, and where we are going.

“Just as good sleep hygiene was the hot topic of 2016, digital detox plans will be trending in 2017.” –Jennifer Browne

Happy New Year! Cheers to a new and improved you, and an amazing 2017. xo

About the Author

Cassie Brewer is a makeup professional in Southern California. In her free time, she enjoys writing about her passion (makeup of course!) and everything beauty related. Nothing makes her happier than helping other be the best version of themselves they can be. You can read more at and follow her on twitter @Cassiembrewer.


coconut oil

The Skinny on Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling 101

The idea of oil pulling never really interested me, which is weird, because I have tried a lot of things to whiten my teeth. (I’ve always been a big fan of brushing with baking soda.) I think I grabbed a sloppy tablespoon of coconut oil from my baking stash one time, swished it around my mouth for two seconds, regretted my decision, and spat it out.

So that’s the extent of my experience with oil pulling. Until now!

Recently, I was approached by Kismet Essentials to try their oil pulling kits. Why not, I thought? I try everything else. (Including allowing a new client to perform two hours of microblading on my eyebrows yesterday–and that hurt!)

So what is oil pulling and what should you know about it? Let me hook you up:

What is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is an an old ayurvedic dental practice. The basic idea is that by swishing a tablespoon of pure coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes per day, you can help your body to release toxins and then expel them by spitting the mixture out.

But the benefits don’t stop at toxin removal: oil pulling whitens teeth, cleans plaque, destroys bacteria, promotes nice-smelling breath, and generally contributes to a healthier mouth and brighter smile. Here’s Kimset Essentials’ list of health benefits, as found on their website:

  • Whiter Teeth
  • Fresher Breath
  • Improved Digestion
  • Reduced Headaches
  • Cleaner Tongue and Mouth
  • Better Immune System
  • Healthier Gums
  • Reduced Plaque
  • Clearer, Softer Skin
  • Improved Skin Conditions (Eczema, Psoriasis etc)
  • Balanced Hormones

Oil Pulling with Kismet Essentials

Oil Pulling Kit

As I mentioned above, I briefly tried oil pulling in the past, and quickly (and foolishly) determined it to be a useless, kind of disgusting practice. But my experience with Kismet was really different! Their kits are meant to be completed in two weeks; they come with 14 satchels containing one tablespoon of high-quality coconut oil, flavoured with a mild, very pleasant minty taste. So right off the bat, they’re easy to use, travel with, and they taste clean, which I would think is an impressive feat for coconut oil. (Because let’s face it–coconut oil is still oil. It tends to taste fatty.)

Then for the health nuts in the group (my hand is eagerly waving), the product also uses organic, virgin, cold-pressed oil that’s non-GMO and fair trade.

So now you’re in love, right? There are like 4 or 5 magic words in that sentence!

The Results of My Experience

My teeth are not naturally white. I have a photograph of myself smiling for third-grade picture-day, and my teeth are kinda yellow. (So my expectations were not high.) I only lasted about 10-12 minutes with each satchel (actually, I only lasted 4 minutes on day 2 because I forgot and had 2 glasses of wine first, and then didn’t have the willpower to hold oil in my mouth for longer than that…oops…), and had to distract myself through the process. I usually worked on my laptop or read a book while swishing.

(Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to swish like you would with mouthwash–that would result in a very sore jaw! Think gentle.)

After you swish, you can’t spit it into your sink, because it’s coconut oil–it could firm up and cause a blockage. So I spat my coconut oil into a zip-lock bag after each time, and then threw the bag out at the end.

Hot tip: if you plan on reusing the bag to include all 14 treatments, you might change your mind after the first week or so, because the bag seriously begins to smell like vomit. I’m assuming this is because there are tons of trapped bacteria and toxins in this bag of used coconut oil. So instead, I recommend switching it up every 3-4 days.

I didn’t really see a difference in my teeth hue until after about a week, and then after 10-12 days, the change was pretty evident. I’m very sorry that I’m not providing a before-and-after photo, but it’s because I’m currently treating myself to Invisalign, and have bumps affixed to my teeth that help to hold the trays in properly, and I feel like I look like a vampire. (Also, they’re not as invisible as their name suggests. FYI.)

So that’s why.

Anyway: it was a good experience, and I’ll do it again! For those who want to whiten but aren’t into chemical bleach kits, this blog’s for you. (You’re welcome.)

To order an oil pulling kit from Kismet, view their SHOP page. This business is located in Vancouver (local for me!), and their social tags are as follows:


Twitter: @kismetessential



Winter Skin: Make it GLOW

We might be in the dead of winter, but your skin doesn’t have to know that. By diligently caring for your skin using the 5 steps below, you’ll never have to worry about weathered and wintered skin again.

(And ‘wintered’ is totally a word, because my spell-check says it is. Thank you, spell-check!)


Sounds simple, and you know what? It is! Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it works hard to detox you from the inside out every damn day. It needs its beauty rest! Making sure you get 7-9 hours of good-quality sleep each and every night will go a long way towards obtaining healthy looking skin that is not season-dependent.


Yup—brush your skin. Using a dry skin brush to regularly sluff off the build-up of dead skin cells we accumulate faster as we get older is a fabulous way to get skin that glows. Not only do you remove the dull cells that create a boring complexion, you actively prompt your body to regenerate new skin cells faster, thereby producing younger-looking skin.

Yeah—you’re welcome.

Now, I’m not talking about your face; that’s coming up. I’m talking about slowly and rhythmically brushing your entire body with long, downward strokes from your neck to your feet. You can buy a dry skin brush at almost any store that sells cosmetics, bath, and body care products.


This one’s for your whole body. Using a great quality exfoliant (I love RoC® MAX Resurfacing Facial Cleanser) on your face twice a week can really help to keep acne at bay, and give your skin a more youthful appearance.

When it comes to the rest of your body, I totally recommend making your own sugar scrub and giving yourself a full-body scrub-down twice a week. It’s nicer for your skin than a salt scrub, because salt is dehydrating, which is the opposite of what we’re going for.

Recipe for Lavender Sugar Scrub


1 cup fine, granulated sugar

¼ cup olive oil

Few drops lavender essential oil


Combine sugar and oil; mix well. Add essential oil and mix again. Store in your shower in jar with lid tightly fastened. (Take care not to break glass in shower!)


Making sure you step up the moisturizing is essential to keep winter skin at bay. During the winter months, use a thicker day and night cream. I actually add a few drops of almond oil to my moisturizer and slather it everywhere twice a day, including my face.


We all know that water is good for you, but during the winter, it’s imperative to keeping skin healthy and happy. I usually drink way more herbal tea in the winter than other times of the year, and it’s good and hydrating, too.

For tips and tricks on how to make your own herbal tea that helps with skincare, check out The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea.

Follow the above suggestions, and I promise you’ll have glowing skin in no time. Good luck!